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Turning Mine Waste into a Ceramic Resource: Plombières Tailing Case

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Mining and quarrying waste is the second largest waste stream in Europe. Sulfidic ore processing residues (tailings) pose a large challenge, because they contain hazardous metal(loid)s and because they can lead to acid mine drainage. However, mine tailings also contain valuable base, precious, and critical metals, which can be used in different technological applications, as well as silicates and clay minerals that offer possibilities for use in building materials. In the present study, the potential use of mine tailing material, from the inactive Pb–Zn mine of Plombières (Eastern Belgium), in three ceramic products (roof tiles, blocks, and pavers) was assessed, taking into account production parameters, product quality, and environmental performance. After a detailed physical, mineralogical, and chemical characterization of the mine tailing material and the original raw materials, different mixtures were prepared on a lab scale, in which primary raw materials (e.g., clay and sand) were replaced by 5, 10, or 20 wt% of the fine tailing material. The technical, chemical, and aesthetical properties of each ceramic body were assessed, as well as their environmental performance, considering a 2nd life scenario, where shaped building materials are demolished and recycled as aggregates. High additions of tailing material in clay roof tiles (10 and 20 wt%) and clay blocks (20 wt%) resulted in technical and aesthetical problems. On the contrary, paver mixtures containing 10 and 20 wt% of tailing material showed better technical properties and satisfying chemical and aesthetical characteristics.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy
ISSN: 2199-3823
Issue: Mine Tailings: Problem or Opportunity? Towards a Combined Remediation and Resource Recovery Approach
Volume: 7
Pagina's: 1 - 14